Faculty and Staff

EcoQuest Faculty, Staff and Academic Associates

 

"There is a courageous staff at EcoQuest, who build new foundations under the motto 'change the world'.
You hold a hope in your heart that this experience will never end."

- Kathryn Braden, University of MA

 

Jono Clark

Jono Clark
Director, Iwi Liaison, Executive Trustee

BS (1979) Victoria University, Wellington; Dip.Teaching (1980), Christchurch College of Education. Jono specialised in student-directed learning and high-school program and curriculum development (science, maths and outdoor studies), and has extensive experience in adult education. He is one of the co-founders of the Environmental Education Centre of New Zealand. Jono’s personal interest in just societies has led him into a life-time involvement in development of service learning and iwi-relations. Jono maintains supportive working relationships with local iwi, local schools and the wider community of stakeholders. Jono is the key person for the EcoQuest network for international education.

Ria Brejaart

Ria Brejaart
Academic Director, Co-founder of the EcoQuest Education Foundation, Executive Trustee

Dip Parks & Recreation Management (1987); M.Appl.Sci in Ecology (1994) Lincoln University (with distinction). Ria is one of the co-founders of the Environmental Education Centre of New Zealand. She has a personal interest in community initiatives that generate conservation outcomes. Her commitment to education for sustainability and the natural sciences led her to become one of the co-founders of EcoQuest. Ria is responsible for program and curriculum development, program delivery and the development and supervision of student research. Ria maintains academic liaison with the UNH-EcoQuest Academic Program Coordinator.

Chris Longson

Chris Longson
Lecturer

BSc in Zoology and Ecology (2000) Victoria University, Wellington; BSc(Hons) in Zoology (first class) (2001), Victoria University, Wellington; Ph.D. in Ecology (2008) Macquarie University, Australia. Chris has a professional interest in marine and terrestrial ecology, experimental design, data analysis and presentation. His personal interests include sustainable design and development. Chris is responsible for program delivery, development and supervision of student research, experimental design and data analysis.

David Clarke

David Clarke
Lecturer

BSc in Environmental Science (2009) National University of Ireland Galway (first class hons); PhD in Acarology, National University of Ireland Galway (2015). David has worked in Ireland as a lecturer in ecological survey techniques and sustainable resource management. He has a strong interest in terrestrial and freshwater ecology, entomology, epidemiology and human health. David shares responsibility for delivering course programs as well as developing and supervising student research projects.

Shelley Myers

Shelley Myers
Lecturer April - December

BSc (Hons, first class) in Zoology (2010) Massey University, Ph.D. in Biology (2014), The University of Auckland. Shelley has worked in South Carolina, USA, as a Postdoctoral Fellow researching beetle diversity in the Southern Appalachians. Her professional interests include entomology, terrestrial ecology and biogeography, while she also has strong personal interests in conservation and the environment. Shelley shares the responsibility of field exercises, and is responsible for developing and supervising student research projects.

Kim Babbitt

Kim Babbitt
UNH-EcoQuest Academic Programme Coordinator

BSc in Wildlife Management (1984), University of New Hampshire; MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science (1988), Texas A&M University;Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (1996), University of Florida. Kim is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs COLSA and Professor of Wildlife Ecology, UNH. She supports collaborative research initiatives and programme development. Kim delivers occasional guest lectures at EcoQuest.

Michelle Brinsden

Michelle Brinsden
Field Leader

BSc in Environmental Science and Ecology (2012). Michelle has extensive experience in leading groups in the outdoors. She is passionate about ecology, especially the marine environment. Michelle has been a PADI Scuba Diver Instructor for many years, both in New Zealand and around the world. As well as working at EcoQuest, Michelle is enrolled in post-graduate studies, and she works as a volunteer in reforestation and restoration activities, including control of mammalian pests. Michelle shares responsibility for field exercises and extended field trips as well as support for Directed Research Projects.

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell
Field Leader

Michael was born and raised in Fiordland, New Zealand. Michael has a bachelor of Surveying from the University of Otago (2012). Michael has a variety of vocational experience in the outdoors. This includes mammalian pest control, volunteer work as a Camp Counsellor, and working with Indigenous Australian Youth. At Ecoquest Michael shares responsibility for field exercises and extended field trips, as well as support for Directed Research Projects.

Michael Ramsbottom

Michael Ramsbottom
Field Leader

BAppSc in Environmental Management (2011) Otago University; Certificate In Sustainable Rural Development (2014) NorthTec. Michael has worked in conservation, resource management and as a surf instructor. Michael has a strong interest in gardening and sustainable food production. Mike shares responsibility for field exercises and extended field trips, as well as support for Directed Research Projects.

Peter Maddison

Peter Maddison
Academic Associate

BSc(Hons) in Zoology (1965), Ph.D. in Applied Entomology (1968) University of London, UK. Peter is an entomologist and Environmental Consultant with many years’ experience in New Zealand and in the wider Pacific. Peter supports various program components and Directed Research Projects.

Bruce Burns

Bruce Burns
Research Associate

BSc and MSc(Hons) in Botany (1980, 1982), Auckland University; Postgraduate Diploma in Natural Resources (1984), Lincoln University; Ph.D. in Biogeography (1991) University of Colorado. Bruce is the immediate past president of the New Zealand Ecological Society and Trustee of WWF-New Zealand. Bruce is a Lecturer in Plant Ecology (School of Biological Sciences), University of Auckland. He provides academic support for EcoQuest faculty and research.

Isabel Castro

Isabel Castro
Research Associate

BSc (1985), Universidad de los Andes, Colombia; MS in Environmental Biology (1987), Eastern Illinois University; Ph.D. in Behavioural Ecology (1996) Massey University. Isabel is a Lecturer in Ecology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. She supports collaborative research with EcoQuest and UNH.

John Ryks

John Ryks
Research Associate

BSocSc University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand (1996) , MSocSc (Hons) University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand (1999), PhD, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand (2002). John is currently a Director and Principal Researcher at Aria Research Limited. In recent years, he has held the following positions: Sector Manager, Ministry of Science and Innovation, Research Manager and Acting Director for Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Māori Development). John provides academic support for EcoQuest faculty and research.

Danielle and Thomas

Danielle Middleton
Research Associate

BSc in Zoology and Microbiology (2006), Massey University, Palmerston North; MSc  in Zoology (First Class Honours) (2009), Massey University, Palmerston North; Ph.D. in Ecology and Biodiversity (2012), Victoria University of Wellington. Danielle is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Auckland. She supports collaborative research with EcoQuest.